x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Burj Al Arab to turn blue

The Burj is taking part in the Light It Up Blue initiative on Monday.

DUBAI // The Burj Al Arab will be bathed in blue light on Monday along with some of the world's other best-known landmarks as part of a global campaign to raise awareness of autism.

The Burj is taking part in the Light It Up Blue initiative for the first time and will join a list of globally famous buildings and sites that will be illuminated with beams of blue light. The line-up includes New York's Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Kingdom Tower in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the Cairo Tower in Egypt and the Niagara Falls in Canada. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel will, like the Burj, be taking part from 7pm to 10pm.

The campaign is run by the US-based Autism Speaks group, and householders and businesses in the UAE are being invited to join in by lighting up their buildings using blue filters and turning their websites blue for the day.

The initiative is being held on World Autism Awareness Day under the slogan "Shine a Light on Autism". The UAE effort is being organised by a group of organisations that includes the Red Crescent, Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs, Dubai Healthcare City, Autism UAE and the Dubai Autism Centre.

April is World Autism Awareness Month, and other events taking place include a sponsored walk at Zabeel Park on April 21.

"Last year we had 1,200 people and we expect more this year because we have a lot of centres on board, and everybody is going to ask their families to join in," said Dr Hibah Shata, co-founder and managing director of the Child Early Intervention Medical Centre, which is organising the event.

csimpson@thenational.ae